Saturday, February 12, 2011

Book Review: The Hatbox Letters

Beth Powning's The Hatbox Letters was heartbreaking to be honest with you!! I'm surprised I made it through without tears!! The main character Kate is mourning the loss of her husband 1 1/2 years earlier. With two grown children living out of town, parents in Florida, and many friends and neighbours in "semi-rural" New Brunswick, Kate is managing to move forward, but barely. She sees her husband Tom in every object, room, and memory, what was and what could (or should) have been. Powning's depiction of Kate's grief is what I can only assume to be spot on. Devastating!! While grieving, Kate has also found herself responsible for going through hatboxes full of old family letters and records. As Kate discover the complex  past of her ancestors-and specifically her own grandparents, Kate begins to see herself as a widow, no longer part of a couple, and she must redefine how she views herself.

I think Powning did an amazing job with Kate's character, but I often found this novel heartbreaking and took many opportunities to put it down and walk away. It doesn't help that I'm missing my husband like crazy right now, but at least we get to talk and skype everyday!! Powning also delves into the lives of Kate's grandparents-either in letter or diary form, or in what I assume to be Kate's imagination of how things transpired-and found this to be a bit tedious. At the end I was actually skipping over those parts just to finish the book.

I also seem to have a shorter attention span lately, whether this is from the fact that my back/hips get uncomfortable from being in any position for too long, or the fact that I am fairly sure the baby has taken over at least half of my brain cells, or that I'm missing my husband!

I did like The Hatbox Letters, but I am happy to be done with this book. I enjoyed her most recent novel The Sea Captain's Wife MUCH MUCH more!!

1 comment:

  1. Oh I have missed your blogs since being away, bug I'm back. This book sounds really sad and you are right, not something you should read at this time in your life. And yes, as many of us can tell you babies steal your brain cells, and it continues. Ha. ha.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.